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Why Micah’s Prophecy About Horses and Chariots Matters Today


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When teaching the people of the Book of Mormon about His covenant with them as a remnant of the house of Israel (Jacob), Jesus Christ quoted from a number of prophecies, including Micah 5:8-15.[1]  According to our Lord, Micah’s prophecy pertains directly to Mormon’s people.  It also pertains, Jesus said, to the many people of this Gentile nation into whose hands Mormon’s abridgment of their sacred records has since been placed.[2]

We would be wise, then, to study carefully what Jesus taught about Micah 5:8-15 and the reason Mormon was led to include Jesus’ teachings on this prophecy in his abridgment for our day.[3]  We should understand why, for example, a remnant of Jacob will be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep.  It is equally important to understand why and how the Lord will cut off the horses out of the midst of His covenant people’s adversaries and enemies and destroy their chariots.

Other prophets have spoken of the same or similar judgments.  Moses, for instance, testified that these judgments will come upon everyone who does not hearken to the words of Jesus Christ.[4]  By examining Mormon’s abridgment in light of these and other related prophecies, we can arrive at a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship between Micah’s prophecy and the advent of the Book of Mormon in these last days.  It is toward this end that the current study on Jesus’ teachings about Micah 5:8-15 has been undertaken.

There are three parts to this study.  Part 1 includes a series of discussions on the history and knowledge of horses and chariots found in the Book of Mormon.  Part 2 of this study outlines and explains what Jesus taught Lehi’s posterity about the judgments described in Micah 5:8-15 and why these judgments will come upon the Gentiles of this land.  Then, Part 3 presents the Lord’s call to action that He sent forth to this Gentile nation by way of the writings of the authors of the Book of Mormon.

Why focus on horses and chariots in Part 1?  A quick search of information available on the Internet reveals that there are skeptics and enemies of the Book of Mormon who say no horses were present in the Americas prior to their introduction here by the Spanish several hundred years ago.  While there is little or no controversy over the possibility of the other things listed in Micah 5:8-15 (e.g. beasts of the forest, flocks of sheep, cities, witchcrafts, soothsayers, graven images, and groves) existing in the Americas during Book of Mormon times, the existence of horses and chariots has been disputed.

As reviewed in Part 1, the Book of Mormon provides a straightforward reason for why we can expect to find little to no evidence of horses and chariots in the archeological record of the Americas.  Although this reason is discussed to some depth in this first part of the study, the main purpose of this initial series of discussions is not simply to develop and expound upon this reason.  The main purpose of Part 1 is to establish a sound basis for taking Jesus’ teaching on Micah 5:8-15 seriously.

To establish this sound basis, Part 1 begins by demonstrating the likelihood that Jesus spoke to a people who were quite familiar with horses and chariots.  If they were not familiar with either of these, could they have grasped the impact that losing horses and chariots (in our case, cars and trucks) would have on a nation like this Gentile nation?  Unless they had relied upon horses and chariots themselves in some meaningful and practical manner, the Book of Mormon people simply would not have comprehended the severity of the judgments revealed in Micah’s prophecy.  Consequently, neither could they have taken Jesus as seriously as He intended about this prophecy.

This is true for us as well.  If we doubt the integrity of the Book of Mormon regarding horses and chariots, we will likely fail to grasp the overall impact that the coming judgments spoken of by Jesus will have on our nation.  Losing one’s primary source of transportation would severely cripple our society just as it would any civilization.  Those who doubt the accounts of horses and chariots in the Nephite records will likely end up dismissing these warnings.  But those who recognize that we have reason to believe their record concerning horses and chariots, will likely also recognize our need as individuals and as a nation to take Micah 5:8-15, as taught by Jesus, seriously.

For a final note of introduction, these several series of discussions can be readily kept in perspective by keeping in mind that the Book of Mormon is an abridgment of sacred records.[5]  It is not a comprehensive or even a summary of the secular history of the ancient people now all called Lamanites.  This means that any mention of horses and chariots which was included in the text is part of a sacred narrative, not merely a historical statement.

Link to complete article: Why Micah’s Prophecy About Horses and Chariots Matters Today


   [1] III Nephi 9:50-59 & 9:98-106 with III Nephi 7:1-45, 8:27-75, 9:46-106, 10:1-41, 11:1-33, 12:1-6 & 13:1-62

   [2] cf. III Nephi 10:1-31 with III Nephi 9:50-59 & 9:98-106 & D&C 17:1a-6g & D&C 2:6a-6e; cf. Helaman 5:6-30 with Alma 7:24-45 & Helaman 3:18-30; see also I Nephi 7:22 & Moroni 10:28

   [3] III Nephi 2:96-109III Nephi 10:30-32, III Nephi 11:1, III Nephi 12:1-6, III Nephi 13:1-3, etc. with III Nephi 9:99-104; cf. Words of Mormon 1:4-13 with I Nephi 2:4-6, I Nephi 5:225-232 & Jacob 1:1-4

   [4] Deuteronomy 18:9-14 & Deuteronomy 18:15-19 with Acts 3:20-26, III Nephi 9:58-64 & D&C 1:3a-e

   [5] e.g. I Nephi 2:1-6, I Nephi 2:93-99, I Nephi 3:1, I Nephi 5:227-229, Jacob 1:1-8, etc.